I love to shop. Nearly every purchase I make is online - clothing, household items, even cat food. I shop so much that the Google Street View of my house shows several boxes on my front porch. But, until recently, I would only visit a store if I needed to return something I purchased online.

Shopping was easier for me online. I could easily browse through categories and quickly purchase the items I wanted. I didn't have to wander around stores aimlessly in hopes something caught my eye, or dig through sales racks, or ask an associate if my size was in stock if it wasn't on the floor. I could read customer reviews and could get an idea about the quality and sizing. And I always found the recommended products based on my purchase history to be helpful.

However, as more retailers are adding phigital experiences, I'm finding myself shopping in stores again. It's the best of both worlds - I can see and touch and try on and purchase the products I love while still having the online tools, such as product reviews or inventory available or even recommendations, available.

One of the best experiences I've had recently was at Pier1 imports. I visited its store and saw this display in the furniture section:

I went over to take a closer look. The display housed different samples of fabrics and panels and allowed you to design your own furniture, order it, and have it available for pickup 10 days later in the store. But that wasn't all.

It had an acquisition point where I could signup to receive emails and/or catalogs. Many interactive displays that I've encountered lately are missing this option so I was very pleasantly surprised to find it here. And I opted in to receive emails.

I took the opportunity to browse through Pier1 imports's Christmas catalog and found several products I liked. I was then able to see if they were available in the store and I ended up purchasing several of the items.

This experience was truly a good one. I was able to find what I was looking for quickly without browsing the entire store. Anything that can save time is a definite winner in my book!

Have you had any great shopping experiences like this one lately? I'd love to hear about it.

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